The complainant had an alternative work schedule and intermittent telework as an informal reasonable accommodation in place for nearly a year. His new supervisor forced the complainant to submit a formal accommodation request. While the request was pending, his supervisor ordered him to report during normal core hours and charged the complainant sick leave when Complainant requested to telework due to his medical conditions. After four months and a single interactive meeting, the Agency denied the complainant’s request for telework based on an informal policy requiring him to route documents for a hand signature. Despite the VA refusing to acknowledge litigation risk until just before hearing. Partner Heather White and Senior Associate Janei Au successfully negotiated a clean record, full reimbursement of attorney fees, and compensatory damages.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC issued a decision holding the Agency liable for unlawful reprisal for prior EEO activity when it allowed retaliation to be a motivating factor in its decision to not select Complainant for a job. The AJ’s decision found the Agency acted on what is referred to as a “mixed motive,” meaning that while the selection decision was tainted with retaliation, the Agency had some legitimate reasons for its decision. Nevertheless, the Agency must post notice that it was found liable for violating Title VII and issue other relief, including reimbursement of attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino and Associate Attorney Daniel Pope represented the complainant.
The EEOC modified the Administrative Judge’s (AJ’s) order and remanded the case for further proceedings. The AJ had issued a default judgment in complainant’s favor as a sanction for the agency’s failure to timely issue a Report of Investigation (ROI). The EEOC increased complainant’s award of non-pecuniary compensatory damages from $42,500 to $75,000 and remanded the issue of pecuniary damages back to the AJ for further adjudication. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented complainant on her appeal to the Commission.
In a precedential decision, the MSPB denied the Petition for Review filed by the Executive Office of the President, holding that the Board has jurisdiction over appeals filed by employees of the White House appointed pursuant to Title 5. The Board stressed that the language of the statute made clear that it was the status of the employee, not the employing agency, that determined the Board’s jurisdiction. The Board ordered the EOP to rescind its decision removing appellant as the Administrative Judge initially decided. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant during the initial appeal and before the Board.
The MSPB granted appellant’s Petition for Review and remanded the case for further adjudication finding that the Administrative Judge improperly found that the agency dismissed his involuntary resignation claim as untimely in the agency’s Final Agency Decision (FAD). FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant before the Board.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB found the agency violated the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) and granted appellant’s request for corrective action, holding that the agency denied appellant an opportunity to compete for a vacancy. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant before the Board.
The EEOC vacated the agency’s Final Agency Decision (FAD) and remanded the matter to the agency to submit a renewed hearing request, finding that the AJ was not justified in imposing the sanction of dismissing complainant’s hearing request on complainant. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented complainant on her appeal to the Commission.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the Postal Service subjected complainant to racial and sex discrimination as well as retaliation for protected activity. The AJ awarded $90,000 in compensatory damages and reimbursement of attorney’s fees in a separate decision following the finding of liability. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino and Associate Erica Bilkis represented the complainant at the EEOC hearing.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the VA failed to reasonably accommodate complainant in violation of the Rehabilitation Act when it “closed out” her request for reasonable accommodation alleging that complainant failed to engage in the interactive process. The AJ awarded compensatory damages, medical expenses, and attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the complainant at the EEOC hearing.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the EEOC held that the Postal Service subjected complainant to sexual harassment in violation of Title VII following a hearing, awarding compensatory damages and attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the complainant at the EEOC hearing.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB found the Forest Service constructively discharged the appellant by subjecting her to sexual harassment, and also committed a harmful procedural error by failing to follow its own procedures addressing harassment. The AJ ordered the agency to reinstate appellant with backpay and awarded compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino and Associate Louise Ryder represented the appellant before the Board.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB held the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) violated the Rehabilitation Act when it removed appellant for charges of AWOL after rescinding her telework reasonable accommodation. The AJ determined that DEA could not show that the reasonable accommodation created an undue hardship and ordered the agency to reinstate the appellant with backpay and reimbursement of attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant before the Board.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of an Administrative Judge at the MSPB holding that an investigation by the VA’s Administrative Investigation Board (AIB) was retaliation for appellant’s protected disclosures and that the investigation qualified as an adverse personnel action under its prior holding in Sistek v.Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 955 F.3d 948. 955 (Fed. Cir. 2020) as it led to a change in appellant’s duties. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant before the Federal Circuit.
An Administrative Judge (AJ) at the MSPB held the Agency violated appellant’s due process rights by failing to consider his reply to the Notice of Proposed Removal before issuing a Decision to remove the appellant for failure to accept a management directed reassignment. The AJ ordered the Agency to reverse appellant’s removal with backpay and reimbursement of attorney’s fees. FPG Founding Partner Debra D’Agostino represented the appellant before the Board.
The client’s spouse, a national from Afghanistan, had been denied a family-based immigrant visa based on a finding of terroristic activities. Ms. Lockwood and Federal Practice Group were able to successfully obtain a reversal of the finding of terroristic activities and obtain an approved immigrant visa. The client’s spouse is now in the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident, and after six years of marriage they can finally live together in the United States.
After the client feared they had lost status as a lawful permanent resident and being told by multiple attorneys nothing could be done, the client sought the services of The Federal Practice Group. Ms. Lockwood was able to obtain a new lawful permanent resident card and also successfully win the client’s citizenship petition. The client was sworn in as a US Citizen on December 15, 2018.
The client was placed in removal proceedings when they contacted Ms. Lockwood. Ms. Lockwood was able to obtain a U-visa based on their status as a crime victim and ultimately terminate the proceedings before the immigration court. The client is now a U-visa holder and applying for adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident.
After USCIS had denied the client an adjustment of status application and was placed in removal proceedings, Ms. Lockwood was able to obtain a stay of the proceedings to allow for adjudication of a new adjustment of status application and ultimately terminate the removal proceedings. The client is now happily on their way to becoming a US Citizen.
Ms. Thompson successfully upgraded the discharge of a Marine to Honorable when it was revealed the Marine Corps had discharged him with a general under honorable in violation of the applicable regulations.
CWO3 facing a Board of Inquiry for alleged misconduct related to government contracting was retained, and ultimately allowed to retire.
Captain facing a Board of Inquiry for a prior General Officer Memorandum of Record permitted to honorably retire.
CW2 facing a Board of Inquiry for a prior General Officer Memorandum of Record successfully retained.
Craig Allan Kolhagen were represented by Eric Montalvo of The Federal Practice Group in which he and two others were indicted for wire fraud, major fraud against the United States and Mr. Kolhagen was independently charged with disclosing source selection information. Through motions practice, Mr. Montalvo and his team successfully argued for a dismissal of the indictment. Mr. Kolhagen was also confronted with being administratively separated from the Marine Corps as a result of the charges. Mr. Montalvo and his team contested the administrative separation and achieved a full retention recommendation and saved Mr. Kolhagen’s retirement.
Mr. Montalvo represented Captain Trey R. Sedenka before the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) in a case where the correction of Captain’s Sedenka’s naval record allowed him to recover the military incentive pay he was promised and was improperly denied upon his entry into the service. The Board found that an injustice had occurred and granted full relief.
SSG Javier Vicente Cuevas was charged with abusive sexual contact in violation of Article 120, UCMJ. After a several-day jury trial before a military panel Eric Montalvo of The Federal Practice Group secured a full acquittal.
Specialist Kesha R. Conner was convicted on five different counts and sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge. Eric Montalvo of The Federal Practice Group was able to was able to successfully argue before ACCA on appeal that the trial court judge in the original trial abused his discretion thereby materially prejudicing the appellant’s substantial rights. Based on these findings her verdict was overturned.
Ms. Thompson and Mr. Montalvo were appellate defense counsel. They argued the military judge committed error when he used “human lie detector” testimony in finding the client guilty. The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals agreed and set aside the conviction thereby reinstating their client into the Marine Corps.
Mr. Montalvo successfully appealed the case to NMCCA and when the government appealed he successfully briefed and argued the matter before CAAF – the military’s supreme court. The result was a landmark decision in the arena of sexual assault in the military. The issue of consent in sexual assault cases when intoxication is involved has been at the heart of countless military cases over the years. In U.S. v. Pease, the court ruling resulted in the definition of the term “incapable of consenting.” The decision overturned the conviction of Mr. Montalvo’s client and set a precedent for all cases of this nature moving forward.
15 year old charged as an adult with felony malicious wounding as a result of him stabbing the alleged victim in the heart. First trial ended in a mistrial due to juror misconduct and the second trial ended in a full acquittal.
The government contracting team successfully represented a government contractor on appeal before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. On appeal, we claimed that the contractor was entitled to compensation for delivery fees and invoices left outstanding on its delivered orders. After a summary proceeding before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the Administrative Judge issued a binding decision sustaining the contractor’s appeal of all four orders and granting the contractor full payment on its invoices, plus interest.
The government contracting team successfully represented a client in a request for remission or mitigation of funds seized as a result of an asset forfeiture matter from 2010. The government contracting team was able to demonstrate to the U.S. Postal Inspector Service that the funds seized seven years earlier were, in fact, traceable to a legitimate source and were remitted back to the client.
The government contracting team successfully represented a government contractor who the Government had unjustifiably terminated for default from a commercial item supply contract for the delivery of fuel to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. On appeal, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals found the Government had not met its burden to demonstrate a prima facie case of the contractor’s default. The termination was converted from a termination for default to a termination for convenience.
The government contracting team successfully represented a contractor on the appeal of a base debarment from certain DoD installations overseas. After review of the surrounding facts and circumstances examined in the written appeal, the Department of the Army approved the appeal and reinstated the contractor’s access to all previously barred installations. The contractor has since returned to working overseas on behalf of the United States military.
The government contracting team successfully represented an unsuccessful offeror in a bid protest of a subcontract award before the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Within days of filing the protest, the Government issued a notice of corrective action, which inter alia, identified irregularities in the award, acknowledged that errors were made in the assignment, and ultimately resulted in the termination of the subcontract award.
Settlement in a non-promotion complaint brought by an employee alleging gender and age discrimination, including the promotion and payments into the retirement system so the client received credit for the years she was denied the promotion due to discrimination.
A successful Independent Right of Action (IRA) case in which an MSPB Administrative Judge overruled the Office of Special Counsel and ordered corrective action and other relief for a federal whistleblower.
A seven-figure settlement was rewarded to a group of former employees of the Department of Education who alleged disability and age discrimination, stemming from a 2005 Reduction in Force (“RIF”).
Ms. D’Agostino successfully represented a senior CIA employee who faced retaliation after reporting disability discrimination and harassment following treatment for cancer, in an administrative hearing before the EEOC. An Administrative Judge found the CIA liable for discrimination and awarded appropriate relief.
Successfully appealed to the EEOC in a previously dismissed sexual harassment case. The Administrative Judge ordered that the CIA investigate the claims internally.
Argued for an employee of the Social Security Administration in front of a Federal Circuit Court. The Court vacated and remanded the matter in a precedential decision clarifying the use of comparator information in a federal agency penalty case.
Represented an employee who alleged sex and retaliation discrimination against her agency and received one of the biggest awards ever given by an EEOC Administrative Judge, which included six-figures in non-pecuniary compensatory damages, six-figures in pecuniary compensatory damages and six-figures in attorney fees.
Obtained a liability finding after a default judgment for retaliation, age, gender, and disability discrimination on behalf of a client who was denied accommodation. A sizable settlement that included relief beyond that awarded in the liability finding was granted.
An EEOC Administrative Judge found the Agency was liable for discriminating against the employee on the basis of race and in reprisal for prior EEO activity. Negotiated retroactive reinstatement with interest and backpay, guaranteed re-appointment, and a six-figure lump sum reward.
The Office of Federal Operations vacated the National Reconnaissance Office’s procedurally deficient Final Agency Decision, which was issued after Ms. McKinin’s client had already timely submitted a valid hearing request. OFO ordered that Ms. McKinin’s client’s EEOC hearing request be remanded to the Hearings Unit for processing.
Negotiated a settlement of 5-months back pay, six figures in damages, and clean-record retirement for an officer who had been removed from service on allegations of misrepresentation and conduct unbecoming a law enforcement officer.
Negotiated a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client alleging a hostile work environment and reprisal.
Negotiation that resulted in retroactive reinstatement, increased performance rating, and a five-figure lump-sum payment for an employee who was removed for unacceptable performance.
A five-figure settlement in a discrimination suit that included all attorney fees, out of pocket medical expenses, and a five-figure sum for emotional distress. Additionally, the complainant’s performance appraisal rating was changed to the highest rating, and all adverse language was removed.
Note: It is important to remember that while some cases may appear similar to others, all cases are unique; success in one case does not guarantee success in another. We do not guarantee a certain outcome; to do so violates the Rules of Professional Responsibility. In addition, the results of a case are determined by a variety of factors, including facts and evidence presented, whether the client follows counsel recommendations and the stage in the proceedings at which our services are retained. Case results are only posted with the informed consent of the client.
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